The overall purpose of this funding opportunity is to enable early career postdoctoral (or equivalent) researchers to gain research and career experience in the galleries, libraries, archives and museums (GLAM) sector.
They will do this through working in a major cultural or heritage host organisation on a co-designed research project that will also benefit the host organisation.
The objectives of the scheme are to:
- create new opportunities for early career postdoctoral researchers to build, deepen or broaden their experience of working in, and with, major cultural and heritage organisations
- develop the fellows’ skills and future research career in areas of relevance to the work, collections and practices of cultural and heritage organisations
- deliver high quality and impactful research and innovation projects
- enhance the host organisation’s capacity to undertake research and innovation activities closely aligned with its priorities and strategies, and leading to practical benefits and outcomes for the host
- address a need across the GLAM sector in respect of the lack of dedicated support for early stage of research careers
- promote equality, diversity and inclusion principles
- strengthen efforts to build and diversify research capabilities in the cultural heritage research and innovation ecosystem
- further extend the GLAM sector’s engagement with, and contribution to, society
- catalyse high quality and impactful research and innovation projects that contribute to AHRC’s objectives and vision on cultural assets and our other vision areas where appropriate.
This will be achieved through funding individual fellowships for early career researchers hosted by cultural and heritage independent research organisations (IRO), with a complementary programme of networking events and cohort career development activities for the fellows.
Your fellowship is expected to meet all the above objectives.
You will co-design your fellowship with your host IRO to ensure that it enhances your professional and research development and benefits the host organisation.
Research theme examples
Examples of broad research themes within which some of the highlighted research areas might fall, and that also align to AHRC’s vision and objectives, include:
- diversifying histories and narratives, uncovering underexplored collections and opening up opportunities for more inclusive engagement with heritage
- realising the cultural capital of under-studied collections and other cultural assets
- contextualising collections and heritages and exploring how they can inform better understanding of ourselves
- advancing how we conserve and curate our cultural infrastructure to serve the needs of future generations, including innovative applications of digital technologies, data, design thinking or creative methods
- developing innovative ways for cultural assets to:
- provide support for diverse, inclusive, healthy, sustainable and prosperous places and communities
- foster constructive civil discourse
- help address wider societal challenges.
AHRC will be inviting eligible host organisations in the cultural and heritage sector to highlight specific areas of interest in hosting the fellowships.
Further details of the priority areas identified by these host organisations will be provided when the full funding opportunity details are published.
Interdisciplinary fellowship proposals in areas such as digital humanities and heritage science, as well as practice-based ones, will be welcomed, but all proposals must have significant arts and humanities research content within AHRC’s remit.
Project duration and funding
Your fellowship can be full-time, part-time or hybrid (a combination of the two). It can last for a minimum of one year and a maximum of two years (longer if part-time).
We expect fellowships to start between 1 October 2023 and 1 January 2024 unless exceptional circumstances apply, for example on equality, diversity and inclusion grounds.
The full economic cost of your project can be up to £250,000. AHRC will fund 80% of the full economic cost with the host institution contributing the remaining 20%. The host organisation will prepare the budget on your behalf.
The host independent research organisation will administer the fellowship award and employ you for the period of the fellowship.
You will be listed as the applicant and the principal investigator of your fellowship grant.